ATLANTA — Banned from baseball for life, former Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella apologized Tuesday for rules violations that led to major sanctions against the team and “cost me my dream job and my future in the game that I love.”

In his first public comments since losing his job in the midst of Major League Baseball’s investigation, Coppolella sent out a five-paragraph statement to ESPN and other media outlets.

“I have been hesitant to speak publicly as my family and I have been devastated and embarrassed by the repercussions of my actions,” he said. “I realize now that I need to address what happened and speak to those affected.”

Coppolella was forced to resign the day after the regular season ended. MLB found that the Braves circumvented international signing rules from 2015-17, which led to the team’s forfeiting the rights to 13 prospects and facing major restrictions on signing players outside the United States until 2021.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said the Braves’ organization fully cooperated in the investigation, but he also indicated that Coppolella received the harshest penalty the game can dole out because he wouldn’t come clean.

“To everyone who supports the Atlanta Braves and to everyone who loves the game of baseball, I am deeply sorry,” Coppolella said in his statement. “Throughout my 20-year baseball career my singular focus has been to help make my team more successful. I am heartbroken that in this case my conduct has done the opposite for the Atlanta Braves organization. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”


MARLINS: New CEO Derek Jeter says the team has made no decision regarding right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who is on the trading block following an MVP season.

The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are considered front-runners to acquire Stanton, with both teams offering a package of prospects. But the major league home run champion can veto any deal because his record $325 million, 13-year contract includes a no-trade clause.

“We will explore every option out there to make our organization better,” Jeter said Tuesday on the Marlins’ flagship radio station, WINZ-AM. “There have been no decisions. We have not made many decisions on the baseball side. We’re still gathering information. Anything up to this point has been speculation.”

The revenue-starved Marlins hope to trade Stanton to help reduce payroll by at least 20 percent to $90 million or less as part of a rebuilding under a new ownership group that includes Jeter.

CARDINALS: Right-hander Miles Mikolas is returning from Japan, agreeing to a $15.5 million, two-year contract with St. Louis.

The 29-year-old spent the last three seasons with the Central League’s Yomiuri Giants, going 31-13 with a 2.18 ERA in 62 starts. He was 4-6 with a 5.32 ERA in 37 games for the Padres and Texas from 2012-14.


INDIANS: Reliever Dan Otero agreed to a $2.5 million, two-year contract that includes a 2020 team option and could be worth $3.9 million plus bonuses over three seasons. The deal replaces a $1.3 million, one-year deal agreed to on Friday.

The 32-year-old right-hander went 3-0 with a 2.85 ERA in 52 games last season for Cleveland.

RANGERS: Texas has a multiyear contract in place with free agent left-hander Mike Minor according to a person familiar with the deal.

The 29-year-old was 6-6 with a 2.55 ERA in 65 relief appearances last season with Kansas City. The Rangers will be looking to use him as a starter, like he was previously in Atlanta, from 2010-14 before missing two seasons because of shoulder problems.

ROYALS: Right-hander Wily Peralta agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,525,000, with a club option for 2019.

TIGERS: Leonys Martin agreed to a $1.75 million, one-year contract.

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